Lights go dark for Earth Hour to highlight climate change

By: 
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

AP PHOTO

The globe landmark of the Mall of Asia in Pasay city southeast of Manila, Philippines, turns dark on Saturday to mark Earth Hour, a global event that raises awareness on the need to take action on climate change.

LONDON (AP) — In Paris, the Eiffel Tower went dark. In London, a kaleidoscope of famous sites switched off their lights — Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye.

That scene was repeated over and over across the world on Saturday night: at Sydney's Opera House; at New Delhi's great arch; at Kuala Lumpur's Petronas Towers; at Edinburgh Castle in Scotland; at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate; at St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow; at the Empire State Building in New York.

It lasted for just an hour and its power is purely symbolic. But in countries around the world, at 8:30 p.m., people switched off their lights for Earth Hour, a global call for international unity on the importance of addressing climate change.

Begun in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has spread to more than 180 countries, with tens of millions of people joining in, from turning off their own porch lights to letting the grand sites like the Opera House go dark.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said 300 Paris buildings observed the blackout to send a "universal message."

"It’s an opportunity" to shift "the consumption culture and behavior change toward sustainability," Indian Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said.

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